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Happier without humans: Hyderabad Zoo animals were happier during lockdown days, says study

However, primates which are considered closer to humans genetically, including the celebrity chimpanzee of the Hyderabad Zoo, Suzi, were observed to be less active.

Published: 25th October 2020 01:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th October 2020 11:38 AM   |  A+A-

Animals, including celebrity chimpanzee Suzi, at the Nehru Zoo Park in Hyderabad. (Photo | S Senbagapandiyan/EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Most animals in the Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad, were observed to be happier during the lockdown period when there was less human presence in the zoo apart from the zoo staff, according to an ongoing study on animal behaviour.

The study is being conducted since two years, under directions from the Central Zoo Authority. Hyderabad Zoo biologist M Sandeep, who has been observing the animals as part of the study, said that large animals like bears, leopards, jaguars and other carnivores, including tigers, who like solitude were more active, playful and relaxed during the lockdown period. 

However, primates which are considered closer to humans genetically, including the celebrity chimpanzee of the Hyderabad Zoo, Suzi, were observed to be less active than the time before lockdown. 

He said, “We saw many animals at their best behaviour during the lockdown. Bears were using ropes and other materials that we had offered them a year ago. They did not play with them much before the lockdown. The animals, in general, were playful and active.” 

Hyderabad Zoo Curator N Kshitija said, “All the primates we have are singles. But in the forest, they are animals who live in groups. When people started coming back to the zoo, Suzi and other primates became active.” 

The carnivores, which usually display signs of nervous excitement whenever a crowd gathers near their enclosure, were seen by the zoo staff jumping and playing around like never before.

They were also seen enjoying the afternoon time lazing out, resting and relaxing without hesitation. 

Last year, a study by the Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LACONES) of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) had reported that eco-tourism in tiger reserves cause stress among the tigers.

“Even at the safari park, we could say that the animals were not stressed during the lockdown,” Sandeep said.  

Carnivores

That usually display signs of nervousness whenever a crowd gathers near their enclosure were playing around during lockdown.

Lockdown births

The Hyderabad Zoo welcomed many new residents during the lockdown. A total of 58 new species were born at the zoo between March and October 20. Earlier this month, one Asiatic lion and one White Tiger were born.

phew! at least Someone missed us

  • Primates which are considered closer to humans genetically, including chimpanzee Suzi, were less active than the time before lockdown.

  • All the primates in Nehru Zoo are singles. But in the wild, they are animals who live in groups. 

  • When people started coming back to the zoo, Suzi and other primates became more active.

  • They are still more active during early hours. But there is a strange liveliness whenever there are human beings around, says zoo curator.



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